The Importance of WCAG for Ontario Businesses

WCAG is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and is included in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Find out what WCAG is and its Level A and AA standards are check out the information on the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services website.

Why is it important?

It’s important because it makes your site accessible to people with disabilities. But at the same time, it makes it more accessible to search engines. As of January 2014 the government of Ontario has implemented it as part of a web initiative requiring businesses of 50+ employees to have websites that are compliant with WCAG Level A standards.

Additionally, if your website has undergone a “significant refresh” then it must now also meet Level A standards. A significant refresh is defined as changing more than half of your site’s content.

WCAG is all about accessibility, a few very notable, fully-accessible websites include: The White House, Apple, and CSS Zen Garden.

How do you meet the WCAG Level A Standard?

  • Provide captions and alt. text for graphics and multimedia.
  • Use of text resizing and making text distinct from the background.
  • Create content friendly to assistive technology like e-readers.
  • Make content keyboard accessible and less dependent on user (mouse) movement, except where necessary.
  • Avoid CAPTCHAs and give users enough time to read and use content.
  • Avoid content that may induce seizures, such as blinking images.
  • Colour indicators should also be avoided for the sake of the colour blind.
  • Make the destination of links clear and specific rather than just putting “click here”.
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes by making error messages specific.
  • Content like charts and tables should also be accessible to assistive technology, again, like e-readers.

By January 2021 all websites who don’t already, will have to meet the Level AA WCAG standard.

At ShoutEx we use web tools like AChecker to make sure we are meeting accessibility standards and to welcome all members of the public to our website.

Trackback from your site.

Nick Seebruch

I am an External writer at ShoutEx. My interest lie in marketing, communications and journalism

Leave a comment

Get in touch